Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Two Faces of Nanny

 
Victorian nannyMy previous post about jihad and heroin caused such an unexpectedly vigorous response in the comments that a clarification is required.

Point One: Heroin will not be legalized in the United States for the foreseeable future. But a conversation about the damage done by its proscription — both socially and to our national security — is in order.

Point Two: If heroin were legalized without any concomitant changes in our current degraded narcissistic entitlement culture, the results would be disastrous.

The Nanny State encroaches on us more and more every year, making sure we stay warm, eat our vegetables, and generally behave like good little children. As our benevolent and all-seeing parental substitute, Nanny supplies us with all good things and takes care of our every need.

But the government giveth, and the government taketh away. The flip side of Nanny is that she keeps the liquor cabinet locked to make sure that her charges don’t do irresponsible things.

Until the federal government is reformed according to its original constitutional mandate, which means that it would of necessity cease interfering (“for your own good”) in every aspect of its citizens’ lives, the legalization of heroin and other narcotics would be disastrous.

In the behavioral sink we have unintentionally created, heroin users would have a “right” to their drug at taxpayers’ expense. They would have a “right” to be supplied with clean needles, to be given treatment and counseling at public expense, and to be housed and cared for when their habit rendered them unable to do so for themselves.

We need to view drug users in a different light. As commenter Jesse Clark said in the previous thread, “Call me cold and heartless, but I’ve always believed that everybody is responsible for their own actions.”

Until the entitlement culture changes, legalization is neither feasible nor desirable. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t keep talking about it.

For that matter, it is imperative that we continue a dialogue about the manifold pernicious consequences of Nanny’s interference in people’s lives.

8 comments:

unaha-closp said...

When the Nanny bans Prozac, Sarafem, Fluctin, Fontex, Prodep, Fludep, Lovan, Zoloft, Lustral, Apo-Sertral, Asentra, Gladem, Serlift, Stimuloton...then I might believe there is some moral justification. Until then I tend to think they just ban the stuff they can't patent.

al fin said...

A lot of illegal drugs would be fine in much smaller concentrations than generally used by abusers. Legalising these lower concentrations, as in a chewing gum, soft drink, or candy bar, while keeping the concentrated street versions illegal, might shift the burden of enforcement considerably.

samwich said...

Sucrose (white sugar) is an addictive hi calorie drug which depletes the body of B complex vitamins. B vitamin deficiency disease is called Pellagra. One of the symptoms of Pellagra is Schizophrenia.

Caffiene is an addictive poisonous plant sugar the body counteracts with Adrenalin. Metabolizing Adrenalin is carcinogenic and puts undue strain on the heart muscles, has a tendency to dry the sinuses and weaken them against pathogen invasion and infection and is a contributing factor in Pancreatic cancer.

Ethanol (booze alcohol) is an addictive liquid sugar. It is the only solvent besides water not associated with cancer. It also aggravates Arthritis pain and destroys the liver.It is a cleaner and more efficient fuel than gasoline. 1/3 more power gets to the road per gallon. It burns cooler and pollution controls are not needed. One bushel of corn produces 2.7 gallons fuel. One acre (209x209 feet) of Sugar Beets produces 1200 gallons of fuel once every fourth year. The crop must be rotated, sugar beets every fourth year.(300 gal per acre avg)

Marijuana facilitates lung cancer and an A Motivation complex (no personal motivation except to stay zonked), memory and attention span loss and aggravates Attention Deficiet Disorder.

Tobacco will not burn or smoulder on it's own. Tobacco companies mix saltpeter in to keep it smouldering. Saltpeter decreases sexual performance. A cigarette does make a decent cannon fuse.

Tobacco and Alcohol taxes cost $4.50 for enforcement for every $1 (one dollar) collected. The additional enforcement costs are funded from the federal income tax general fund.

At age 65, 1/3 of all people are dead. They do not collect Social Security Benefits, but some dependents do.

"BUT I'M ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU" is a life game cataloged in "Games People Play" by Dr Eric Berne.
The players are controlling personalities who feign concern to obtain control for their own benefit.

S

Cato said...

It's funny that you say Nanny "keeps the liquor cabinet locked" because that is precisely what she does not do. Even though alcohol is taxed resticted and preached abou tby the government, there has been no serious mdoern movement to ban it, even though the evidence for damage from irresponsible use is much better documented than for many illegal drugs. The reason for the lack of prohibition is simply that we have been there, done that and not only didn't it work, it unleashed an epidemic of crime amd suffering when the "noble experiment" was tried.

You assert that the societal consequnces of legalization (broadly defined) would be disastrous. I say that's a load of bravo sierra. The societal consequences of prohibition have been, and will continue to be, utterly disastrous.

People are in prison in huge numbers and the hyper-inflated cost of drugs brought about by interdiction efforts rewards the world's most unsavory characters, from Fidel to bin Laden.

Watch out for your inner nanny.

Papa Bear said...

Prior to 1911 or so, there was no federal regulation of narcotics. You could openly buy cocaine, opium, etc. We did not have drug gangs shooting each other in the streets.

The major difference was that people who allowed themselves to be addicted to anything, be it alcohol or opium, became a burden on their families. Their friends and families would, of necessity, intervene to stop such indulging, by whatever means necessary. Either that, or the addict would be tossed out to starve in the street.

The biggest byproduct of the Welfare State is that it enables grossly disfunctional behavior

Baron Bodissey said...

Cato, surely you must know that my "liquor cabinet" is metaphorical. Locked within it are pot, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.

My point in this post is that if we were to fully legalize drugs without also giving up the idea that everyone is entitled to be protected from the consequences of their foolish behavior, we would simply create a huge new entitlement program. We would all be supporting the addicts through our tax dollars.

I'm in favor of:
1. Legalizing all drugs, with whatever controls the several states find necessary (on the ABC model), and
2. Removing the responsibility of the the federal government to take care of anybody who engages in irresponsible and self-destructive behavior.

Papa Bear is right -- time was, families took care of their own, by whatever means necessary. Of course, nowadays people who attempt to do what's necessary within the family are hauled into family court and hounded by CPS.

Got any suggestions on how to take out Nanny?

Cato said...

I was pointing out the irony of the metaphor. Seemed a poor choice. Child-proof caps might have been more apt.

I think the first step is to devolve responsibilities to the states. As you say, the various states should be free to maintain ABC-style sales, or I would add, outright legalization or prohibition as they see fit. The various states should also be free to decide how much support they will give thise who choose to become dependent. Those states that take a tougher line will see fewer dependent people, even with.

Is easy to say that that kind of devolution is impossible, but parts of it have been implemented before and could gain a lot of popular support if pursued by a determined politician. After all, welfare reform was huge - and deemed impossible until it happened, largely thanks to Newt.

If New York wants to legalize everything and pay for it all, let 'em. if Nevada wants to legalize it without a safety net - let 'em.

If the Constitution still meant anything, it would not allow the Bush justice department (and Clinton before him) to terrorize doctors practicing pain control. There is no absolutely no constitutional authority for national drug prohibitions.

Baron Bodissey said...

There's absolutely no constitutional authority for requiring employers to withhold income tax, either.

I say, Bring on the Tenth Amendment Restoration Movement!